Race Weekend Central

The 10: NASCAR Cup Series Power Rankings After Richmond

The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series hit the Richmond International Raceway for another round of short track action this weekend. Rarely can a race be summed up in one or two words, but if we were to try, penalty-fest would be a top prospect. Between speeding on pit road and running over the commitment cone… er commitment box… or is it a square?

Whatever you call it, there were a few drivers who probably had a few choice words to describe the small square near the entrance to pit road. Throw in a loose lugnut or two and you’ve got a recipe for a few more penalties and dozens of headaches. As Kyle Busch referred to it, the “balls and strikes” seemed to lean heavily toward strikes on Sunday afternoon. However, Joey Logano made no such mistakes. He even managed to avoid running over the orange thing en route to his first win of the 2017 season.

As for the newest Power Rankings, our contributors looked to compile their lists penalty-free. Now, no one is saying that they don’t have a few lugnuts loose. But those have nothing to do with wheels on a car. So, how did they do? Did we manage to put together a flawless list in accordance with the fans’ rules and regulations? Or will we be sent to the penalty box for rankings detrimental to the sport? You get to play the role of official today. Hopefully, we won’t need to exercise our right to appeal.

How the Rankings Are Calculated: Frontstretch does our power rankings similar to how the Associated Press does them for basketball or football. Our expert stable of NASCAR writers, both on staff and from other major publications will vote for the Top 10 on a 10-9-8-7… 3-2-1 basis, giving 10 points to their first-place driver, 9 for second, and so on. In the end, Frank Velat calculates the points, adds some funny one-liners, and… here you go!

Total Votes


(Photo: NASCAR)

Brad Keselowski

Forget 10 more laps.  The way he was catching the No. 22, I’d say he only needed three more laps. Bryan Gable, Frontstretch

First Place Votes: 4



(Photo: NASCAR)

Kyle Larson

You know you’re running better when you finish 14th and wonder how the day went so terribly wrong. Frank Velat, Frontstretch

 First Place Votes: 1



(Photo: NASCAR)

Joey Logano

Starting the month with an “oh so close” to winning moment at Texas, Logano and company closed out April with a convincing victory at Richmond. Rob Tiongson, The Podium Finish

 First Place Votes: 1



(Photo: NASCAR)

Martin Truex Jr

He’s getting more creative with the penalties he commits to annihilate his chances at winning. And now he goes to a track where it is illegal to pass below the yellow line. I’m already having premonitions about how that will ruin his day.  Michael Massie, Frontstretch




Jimmie Johnson

Don’t look now but Johnson is already on another epic losing streak. Hopefully he can break out of the slump before he is forced to go a whole month without winning. Frank Velat





(Photo: NASCAR)

Chase Elliott

The No. 24 team hasn’t been firing on all cylinders as of late but Chase Elliott and crew chief Alan Gustafson will right their ship in good time. Rob Tiongson



(Photo: NASCAR)

Jamie McMurray

May not be a flashy start to the season, but consistency has held the No. 1 team high entering Talladega. Brent Jones, Tha Sports Junkies 101



(Photo: NASCAR)

Kevin Harvick

With Talladega and Kansas coming up, do not be surprised if the No. 4 team visits Victory Lane soon. Bryan Gable




(Photo: NASCAR)

Clint Bowyer

A former winner at Talladega but we all know he really wants to get the win at the track we go to the following week. Frank Velat




(Photo: NASCAR)

Ryan Blaney

Forget the team’s recent slump, his second-place finish at the Daytona 500 will pay dividends at Talladega for the Wood Brothers. Brent Jones



Others Receiving Votes: Kyle Busch (6); Denny Hamlin (3); Trevor Bayne (3); Ricky Stenhouse Jr (2); Matt Kenseth (2)

Who Voted: Bryan Gable, Frontstretch; Michael Massie, Frontstretch; Frank Velat, Frontstretch; Brent Jones, Tha Sports Junkies 101; Rob Tiongson, The Podium Finish; Pete McCole, Auto Racing 1

About the author


Frank Velat has been an avid follower of NASCAR and other motorsports for over 20 years. He brings a blend of passionate fan and objective author to his work. Frank offers unique perspectives that everyone can relate to, remembering the sport's past all the while embracing its future. Follow along with @FrankVelat on Twitter.

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